Flu, COVID-19, and Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV)
There is a high volume of respiratory illness in adults and children in our community. This includes COVID-19, RSV and flu. Because of this, our hospitals are full or near capacity. We’re committed to your health. We’re here to protect, treat, and support you.
Here are steps you can take to protect you and your loved ones and what to do if you are sick.
- Get your flu vaccine and bivalent COVID-19 booster if you did not get one. You can make an appointment through MyHealth, your local pharmacy, or where it is most easy for you.
- If you have respiratory symptoms wear a mask around others. Do this even if you are negative for COVID-19. RSV and flu can cause severe disease.
- Avoid non-ventilated areas such as crowded indoor spaces. Wear a mask in crowded indoor spaces.
Test and Treat
- Take a home antigen test if you develop COVID-19 symptoms. This includes fever (above 100.4 F), cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, and otherwise unexplained congestion or runny nose, headache, muscle/body aches or diarrhea.
- If you test positive, isolate. Contact your primary care physician or submit a COVID-19 Outpatient Therapeutics Patient Self-Referral Form to see if you should have Paxlovid treatment. This treatment needs to be given within the first 5 days of testing positive. This is important if you are over age 55 or have risk factors, such as obesity or asthma. The treatment reduces the risk of severe illness. Paxlovid can reduce the risk of getting “long COVID”. It should also be considered for people who are younger and vaccinated. Once you submit the form, a team member will contact you within 24 to 48 hours.
- If your first COVID-19 antigen test is negative, repeat the test 48 hours later. If you are elderly or at high risk for serious illness from the flu, consider going to an Express Care or Urgent Care Clinic near you for a flu test. Tamiflu treatment can reduce your risk of severe illness and works best if taken within 2-3 days.
When to Seek Emergency Care
If you have breathing difficulty due to any respiratory illness, go to your nearest Emergency Department or call 911.
If you test positive for COVID-19 with a home antigen test and want to know if you can be treated with Paxlovid, an anti-viral medicine, contact your primary care physician or submit a COVID-19 Outpatient Therapeutics Patient Self-Referral Form. This medicine must be taken within 5 days of testing positive. See our FAQs page for more information about outpatient therapeutics.
If you do not want treatment, please try to stay home. If you can, isolate yourself in a separate room and bathroom for at least 5 days. Wear a mask. Wash your hands often. Cover your coughs and sneezes. Clean and disinfect all surfaces in shared rooms. If you have difficulty breathing, call 911 or go to your nearest Emergency Department.
If you think that you have the flu, please contact your primary care physician or go to an Express Care or Urgent Care Clinic near you. There are treatments that can reduce the severity of the flu, such as Tamiflu. Treatment works best when taken within 2-3 days. Wear a mask if you have any respiratory symptoms. Do this even if you do not have COVID-19. Do not go to the Emergency Department for testing or treatment for mild respiratory symptoms.
There are many respiratory viruses, such as RSV and other colds. There is no treatment for RSV. If you have mild to moderate symptoms rest and recover at home. Drink plenty of fluids. Wear a mask around other people. If you have any difficulty breathing, please go to your nearest Emergency Department or call 911.